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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  July 27, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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07/27/12 07/27/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" we're broadcasting on this last day of the 19th international aids conference. >> my case, my history is proof in concept that hiv can be cured. hope is alive and cure is on the horizon. >> the berlin patient. timothy ray brown, the first person believed to be completely cured of the aids virus. in 2007, a german doctor devised an experimental treatment to rid his body of hiv and leukemia. the plan worked -- inspiring researchers across the globe looking for a cure for aids. we will speak with leading aids researcher dr. jeffrey laurence
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and was stephen lewis, the former u.n. secretary general special envoy for hiv/aids in africa, now co-director of aids- free world. we will be joined by the rev. canon gideon byamugisha of uganda, the first african religious leader to openly declare his hiv-positive status. >> knowing that your positive, they're going to shame you, discriminate against u.s. and so forth, so people shy away. >> all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. samangan of forces are continuing their bombardment of the city of aleppo ahead of a widely expected all-out assault to uproot rebel fighters.
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hundreds of troops are said to have massed on the city's outskirts as syrian gunships pound several neighborhoods. rebel forces have launched attacks on army checkpoints around the city. a number of people were reported dead in clashes on thursday, the exact amount is impossible to verify. in washington, state department spokesperson victoria nuland said the u.s. fears a new massacre in aleppo will occur. >> the concern is we will see a massacre in aleppo, and that is what the regime appears to be lining up for. aleppo, as you said, has been bombarded by syrian fighter jets. it is the latest desperate effort of the al-assad regime to hold on to control. there are credible reports of tanks prepared to attack the city. >> a new study is warning intense summer thunderstorms are posing a major threat to the ozone layer. scientists at harvard university
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found strong thunderstorms are sending water deep into the stratosphere, setting off ozone depleting reaction with chemicals that remain from the now banned cooling gases known as cfc's. the study warns the ozone layer could suffer more damage should global warming unleash more intense storms. ozone is key to survival on earth, protecting people, animal, and crops from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. the study is said to be one of the first to draw a deep link between ozone loss and climate change. on thursday, a fierce storm tore through areas of the northeast, knocking out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses. world countries face a deadline today to finalize the text of the treaty that would mark the first-ever global agreement regulating the arms trade. on thursday, hopes for raise the deal was near after a new draft was leaked closing a number of loopholes. but the outcome of the talks remains as uncertain as countries including the u.s.
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have demanded a number of exemptions. the united states is by far the world's largest producer, importer and exporter, of armaments. opponents including u.s.-based national rifle association have lobbied against the treaty, and a bipartisan group of 51 senators have signed on to a pledge vowing to oppose it should it usher in tough regulation. in a protest outside the united nations in new york, activists set up a mock graveyard to symbolize the victims of gun violence worldwide. >> one person every minute is killed by arms. i have met lots of families of people who have suffered that terrible loss. as you can see behind us, thousands of people die every day. this is a reality that could be changed. >> at the moment, you have governments willing to sell arms to any nation, not really caring
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about how they will be used. >> one of the 12 slain shooting victims of last resort massacre was laid to rest on thursday at a public funeral. an unidentified friend remembered micayla medek, a community college student who was 23 years old when she was shot dead. >> i have known micayla since i was 11. we grew up together. made some of the most amazing memories i will never forget and will always cherish. often times during the summers we spent weeks in each other's houses back and forth, back and forth. i would just show up and she was there with open arms, waiting for me. but the university of colorado has denied reports that a package sent by shooting suspect james holmes detailing plans for the massacre sat unopened in a campus mailroom before the shooting occurred. the school says the package was
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received the monday after the attack and promptly reported to police. in mexico, thousands of protesters have blocked the headquarters of the country's leading television network to accuse it of biased coverage in the recent presidential elections. pri candidate enrique peña nieto defeated lópez obrador earlier this month and a vote critics say was marred by fraud and tainted media coverage in favor of negative's campaign. lópez obrador has challenged the election results in court. televisa has even been accused of receiving payments from negative's campaign to skew its coverage. on thursday, a massive crowd gathered outside the network's studio, chanting "tell the truth." republican presidential candidate mitt romney is drawing controversy in britain. britons heavily criticized romney thursday after he questioned their country's
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preparedness to host the olympic games. romney was speaking to nbc's brian williams. >> there are few things that are disconcerting, stories about the private security firm not having enough people, at the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials -- that is obviously not encouraging. in the games, there are three parts to make it successful. overwhelmingly, the athletes. no. 2, volunteers. no. 3 are the people of the country. do they come to gather and celebrate the olympic moment? that is something we only find out once the games begin. >> other bronner's staffers have included publicly disclosing a media ahead of the secret british intelligence agency the mi6, and calling british labor party opposition leader ed miliband mr. the year. in response to his comments on the olympics, british prime minister david cameron said his country has adequately prepared
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for its host duties. >> we are holding an olympic games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities in the world. it is easy if you hold an olympic games in the middle of nowhere. >> the olympic games' opening ceremonies are being held today. and thursday, victims of the bhopal gas tragedy took part in the special olympics in india to protest the chemical giant dow chemical's sponsorship of the london event. on december 3, 1984, around 40 metric tons of toxic gases leaked from a union carbide plant in bhopal. the indian government said soon afterward that around 3500 people died, but campaigners estimate the total number of dead at 25,000, with many still suffering. years after the leak, dow chemical bought union carbide. an organizer of the bhopal special olympics called the involvement by dow chemical in the london olympics in outrage. >> taking part in any event
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called bhopal special olympics, a day before the opening ceremonies of the london olympics. though chemical needs to be kicked out of the olympic games. the international olympic to thcommittee to a signed a long- term contract, we are here to tell them their sponsorship will not be tolerated. >> the longest ever palestinian hunger striker has ended his fast after 103 days in exchange for israel's pledge to release him five months early. akram rikhawi began his hunger strike in mid april to demand his release on medical grounds. he has been sentenced to nine years for transporting suicide bombers, and was due to be released next june but will be freed in january. the israeli government has asked its supreme court to approve the destruction of eight palestinian hamlets and the south hebron hills so the israeli military can use the area for training.
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the shepherds who live in the area were previously forced to evacuate by israel, but were later returned to their homes by a court order. palestinian advocates said the move is part of a larger push to oust palestinians from certain parts of the west bank. back in the u.s., experts are predicting a significant jump in the nation's official poverty rate ahead of census figures this fall. the associated press reports the poverty rate will likely increase from 15.1% to 15.7%, its highest level in half a century. the estimate translates to a figure of 47 million, or one in six americans, living below the poverty line. the former ceo of the banking giant citigroup is drawing headlines for publicly calling for the breaking up of the nation's largest banks and for restoring the separation of commercial and investment banking. sandy wile made the comments in an interview with cnbc. >> what we should probably do is
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go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit takers, have the banks make commercial loans and real-estate loans. you have banks do something that is not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that is not going to be too big to fail. >> that is a pretty radical idea. are you suggesting there really breaking up these companies? >> that is exactly what i'm suggesting. i want to see the united states be the leader. i really believe in our country. we're not going to be a leader if we keep trashing our institutions. >> video footage has emerged of a new york city police officer roughing up a young man after stopping and searching him on a subway platform. in the footage, the officer accosts the young man before slamming into the ground. he then throws into the ground again moments later. activists say the video
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demonstrates the targeting the people of color and in new york police department's controversial policy of stop and frisk. and audio tape has been released of the 911 emergency call that uncovered the new york city police department's secret spying on muslim neighborhoods inside new jersey. the associated press revealed last year the nypd agents photographed every mosque in newark and eavesdropped inside muslim businesses as part of a wider anti-muslim spying program across the northeast. on the tape from june 2009, a building superintendent told a 011 dispatch rediscovered a suspicious apartment as part of a routine check. >> ken across an apartment where there's a suspicious activity.
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>> the phone call led the nypd to a niche of the fbi and new jersey police that the spying operation was taking place. the tape was finally released after the nypd fought to block its disclosure. and those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman, a broadcasting from baltimore, maryland, not far from where the world's largest international aids conference concludes today in washington, d.c. it was the first time in 22 years that the u.s. goes to the conference due to the obama administration's reversal of a two-decade ban that prevented people infected with hiv from
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entering the country. over 20,000 people from around the world, including top scientists, diplomats, activists, and celebrities, convened in washington, d.c. to discuss the ongoing aids epidemic, lingering cultural stigma, and cutting edge medical and advances. today the aids epidemic continues to affect more than 34 million people worldwide, of which over 2 million are children under the age of 15. according to the u.n., there were 1 plus 7 million aids- related deaths last year, down from 2.3 million in 2005. on wednesday, francoise barre- sinoussi address the conference as the new president of the international aids society. she won 2008 of a laureate for medicine for her role in identifying hiv. she got to help make the benefits of scientific research and hiv more readily available across the world. >> from me, was signs is
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delivering for the benefit of patients -- with science is delivering for the benefit of patients is not being implemented for the benefit of all people in the world. as the president of the ais and a nobel prize laureate, to be the voice of everyone in the world. to take the responsibility for continuously advocating for the rights, for all the population affected by hiv. >> as thousands gathered in washington, d.c. to discuss hiv and aids, the voices of many of those most affected by the global epidemic have been excluded. that's because u.s. travel restrictions bar foreign sex workers and drug users from entering the u.s. unless the and obtained a waiver. in response, sex workers set up
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an alternative converts in calcutta, india and drug users set up a similar conference in kiev, ukraine. for more we go to washington where we're joined by stephen lewis who is the co-founder and co-director of aids-free world. from 2001 to 2006, he served as the u.n. secretary-general's special envoy for hiv/aids in africa. we welcome you to "democracy now!" as the international conference comes to an end in washington, d.c., what has come out of it and what do you think most needs to happen? >> i think the brief excerpts from interviews is a good glimpse into the nature of the conference. you had a lot of inevitable cheerleading and self congratulating about the progress that has been made, but i think francoise barre- sinoussi put it best in pointing a finger at the enormous amount of work yet to be done.
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and the importance of not resting on the laurels. there was far too much of that, many of us felt. but the need to recognize you do have 33 million or 34 million people who will have to be on treatment, who do have this, the 2.5 million children that are not being treated now between the ages of 6 and 15. you have hundreds of thousands of children still being born hiv positive every year. you have a loss of the human dimension of the pandemic, of orphans, grandmothers, the turmoil at community level, and far too much focus, i think, on the statistical data and on the commodity to be used and not enough on the tremendous human carnage which occurred and which must be somehow subdued. >> what is the greatest obstacle right now? you represented your country at
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the united nations and the u.n. and africa dealing with hiv/aids. what are the major obstacles to dealing with this pandemic, stephen lewis? >> i think there are more who can speak to more knowledgeably the night, but the resources are enormous wary. -- worry. a number of the donor nations are not fulfilling the commitments they have made. so the next round has been significantly curtailed, and that is being felt perilously at the country level. if we do not get the drugs, people will die. it is a pretty strong equation. second, we're just beginning to understand the need to deal with the so-called keep populations, the high-risk groups with real focus, whether it is men having sex with men or sex workers or ingesting drug users or prison populations. those are areas where the virus
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is transmitted and spread and a place like eastern europe, central asia, those are the explosive areas in the virus at the moment rid there is not enough attention being paid to that. a government like that in russia is entirely in different to the tremendous needs of the injecting drug use population rid third, we have now understood treatment is prevention. therefore, rolling out treatment to the most vigorous extent possible around the world is necessary. we have got to overcome the phenomenon, which francoise barre-sinoussi pointed out in her speech, the terrible double standard. in the u.s., for example, you start treating people almost immediately whenever their immune system count shows them to be at. and in the rest of the world, you wait until people are far more before they get treatment, and many of them simply do not
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survive. we have to have an objective, similar regiment across the world. >> stephen lewis, world bank president spoke at the opening session of the aids conference. let's turn to a clip. >> i am here because i know what this movement is capable of achieving. i am here to bring you both a pledge and a challenge. i pledge that the world bank will work tirelessly with all of you here to drive the aids fight for it until we win. [applause] and i challenge you to join me in harnessing the moral power a practical lessons the aids movement has produced, to speed progress against the other global scourged -- poverty. >> that was the world bank president, one of the founders of partners in health with dr. health.
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stephen lewis, the whole issue of the aids activism and movements? >> i am sorry, i want to say that i thought the speech at the opening was perhaps the most substantial speech that was delivered, and it was a tremendously refreshing sense to get a new president of the world bank talking so feelingly about the pandemic on one hand and poverty on the other. he is right. the extraordinary activism of the aids movement over the last number of years is what has turned the tide, if the tide has been turned, and if they can be enjoined to do with poverty as they dealt with disease, then the options are greatly improved. if you have a president of the world bank who understands the meaning of poverty and disease, and i think this was a remarkably good appointment, then there is some hope in the
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wind. but we have to get away from the sort of public relations to which we are now addicted. the sloganeering. and do the hard work on the ground, which could be that by the activists. a >> you talk about the president of the world bank, what about the president of the united states? this is taking place in d.c. and the president did not address the conference pri >> no, and there was disappointment about that. naturally, everybody thought he would. but hillary clinton came amid a notable speech. both clinton and president obama back in december, november of last year, made very strong statements on achieving an aids- free generation. it emerged the kind of language that has never emerged from the u.s. before. whether or not the will be consistently supported by the resources which are required and the political leadership required, only time will tell. but it was on balance, more
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hopeful. on the other hand, the fact the u.s. would not allow sex workers and injecting drug users into this conference and given us the opportunity to do with those high risk groups much more easily, that suggests there are some very significant problems in the united states. and the widespread criminalization of transmission in the u.s. -- by the way, even worse in my country of canada -- largely directed at gay men, this is yet another cultural prejudice, which is definitely inhibiting the end of the pandemic. >> stephen lewis, i want to turn to a clip of dr. robert carr, international human rights activist who worked tirelessly to of in the health and human rights of people living with hiv and people at risk of the disease. he died at his home in toronto in may of last year, where he worked as director of policy and advocacy with the international
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council of aids service organizations. i want to go to a clip of a speech he made in vienna in 2010 at a meeting of the global forum of men have sex with men. >> in the caribbean, we talk about spending a top in mud. we have got to stop letting people give us the short end of the state. we have to confront them and say, enough is enough. we have to hold the institutions to account about whether or not all of this money and all of this effort and all of this rhetoric about human rights is actually making a difference for communities on the ground, in the countries for the epidemic is raging. >> dr. robert carr. you gave a lecture this week. >> >> yes, robert was an extraordinary person, almost a
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phenomenon in his capacity to analyze on the one hand and to confront authority on the other. he was not a dispassionate activist, but engaged. the point he makes, i think, is unavailable. there's so much rhetoric, so much rhetorical flimflam over the achievements and promises and the undertaking and such a gap between rhetoric and the implementation that it drove people like robert to distraction. and he wanted the organizations within the u.n. and beyond to be held accountable. they are so powerful. there so often impervious to criticism they are so undignified in the way they dismiss the critics. the human rights which were constantly invoked around men have sex with men never demonstrated themselves on the ground at the committee level where treatment was provided,
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where homophobic laws were expunged from the legislation and the country where there was much greater sense of tolerance and involvement. and robert was right to put it very strongly. that was a quite memorable speech. >> bharati dey of dissipated in calcutta against exclusion of sex workers from the aids conference in washington, d.c. bharati dey explains why the conference and protest was organized. she is a worker activist with the durbar mahila samanwaya committee. >> if we say we are not sex workers, if we say where social workers or something like that, we get a visa. but sex workers who want to fight for the rights of the word, who been fighting for 20 years, why should we deny we are sex workers just to go to the u.s.?
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>> that was bharati dey speaking from calcutta. he also addressed the world fund. talking about the trillions of dollars that traverse the globe for bank bailouts, four wars, but what about dealing with a aids-free world? >> there's never a smidgen of the money available for global public help. we're always struggling for the crumbs, for the pennies from the tables all know the amount of money that is available for other purposes international. and that also has to end. when the voices in the g8 like those of president obama to say everything is distorted, parties are wrong, the human imperative
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is what should count and we are making a grave mistake in our priorities. >> stephen lewis, thank you for being with us. he served as the u.n. secretary- general's special envoy for hiv/aids in africa. i want to congratulate you on the birth of your grandson. congratulations to your son and daughter-in-law. thank you so much. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, the first person believed to be totally cured of aids, referred to as the berlin patient. stay with us. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman, broadcasting from baltimore and washington, d.c., where the 19th international aids conference is wrapping up today. as we turn to the search for a possible cure for hiv/aids and the remarkable story of timothy ray brown and the medical world as the berlin patient. he is the first person believed to have been cured of hiv. brown first learned to get hiv in 1995. a decade later he was diagnosed with leukemia as well. living in berlin at the time, brown was treated by a german doctor named gero hütter who devised an experimental treatment to cure both the hiv and leukemia: a bone marrow transplant using cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation, known as ccr5 delta
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32. scientists have known for a few years that people with this gene mutation had proved resistant to hiv. the treatment worked, making brown the first person cured of aids since it was discovered over 30 years ago. the brown's story has inspired researchers across the globe looking for a cure. more positive news on this front was reported on thursday. doctors from harvard medical school announced that two men in boston also seem to be free of hiv after undergoing bone marrow transplants for cancer. but the men remain on antiretroviral drugs, so doctors cannot confirm they're cured. dr. daniel kuritzkes, professor of medicine at brigham and women's hospital in massachusetts, led the study. >> we have evidence we can protect uninfected cells from becoming infected when transplanted into an h.i.v.- infected patient, a form of pratt at the cellular level, if you will. it gives further encouragement to the field of providing another piece of the puzzle is
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to continue our work towards a care that will be applicable to hiv patients worldwide. >> dr. daniel kuritzkes. to talk more about the aids epidemic and the search for care, we're joined by timothy ray brown in washington, famously known as the berlin patient. he announced tuesday he is creating the world's first aids foundation devoted exclusively to finding a cure for aids. joining us from new york is dr. jeffrey laurence, a senior scientist at the nonprofit foundation for aids research, known by the acronym amfar. we welcome you both to "democracy now!" timothy ray brown, tell us your story. >> hi, amy and jeffrey. i was diagnosed in 1995 with hiv and i was scared to death. at that point, people were dying
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from the disease itself and also from the only available to it at that time, azt. my doctor at the institution for tropical medicine in berlin, a state-run agency, she said i had to start treatment immediately because my t-cell count was weighed down and they could not do viral tests at that point. anyway, i was told i had to take medication right away. she put me on a very low dose of drugs, and i did okay for about a year. then another truck came out the
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next year in 1996. i ended up taking a combination of different treatments for the next 11 years. then in 2006, in the middle of the year i developed leukemia. it started off with anemia and then i went to an ecologist -- oncologist and he did not think was anything that bad, but he did the bone marrow biopsy anyway. that showed i had leukemia. i found out one day i had that and i was in the hospital the next day receiving chemotherapy treatment. that was very scary.
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with the hiv, i had one potentially fatal disease, and with leukemia, i had -- if i had not been treated right away, i would have died from that. yes, it was very scary. >> so at that point you had what he believed to be fatal diseases -- she had two what you believed to be fatal diseases. explain what happened. >> i got the chemo treatment sprit are supposed to have four rounds. unfortunately, all received 2.5. during the third round, i developed sepsis infection. i had to be put into an induced coma. and then my doctor who is making most of the decision said i should go on vacation, so i did.
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in the meantime, i think between the second and third rounds of chemo treatment, he tested my blood for finding a possible donor. are really did not understand. i thought my treatment was just the chemo treatment and that was it. anyway, he found 262 possible donors. because he found so many possible donors, he had the idea -- he followed some of the research and hiv/aids, and had the idea of looking for a donor who was ccr5 delta 32 negative. >> and that means? >> ccr5 delta 32 is a protein
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that sits on the floor of the t- cell and acts as a doorway to enter the cell, allowing the virus to spread. , causing hiv. >> go ahead, finish up with what happened then. >> at first i said no to the transplant because my leukemia was in remission and i did not think i needed it. i talk to family and friends and i even went to visit a professor in dresden about 200 miles to the south of berlin. everybody seemed to agree that i did not really need in it.
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unfortunately, the leukemia came back at the end of the year, so i was forced to get the transplant. so i got end and a quick taking my hiv medication -- so i got it and i quit taking my hiv medication the day of my transplant. i got the transplant and by the third month after that, i did not have any detectable hiv in my blood. >> how did you feel? could you believe it? >> i had a hard time believing head. i have lived with having hiv for so long. i was not used to the feeling. >> let's bring dr. jeffrey laurence into this conversation,
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a leading aids researcher and professor at while cornell medical college in new york. talk about what happened next, dr. gero hütter wanted to put out his research. explain the repercussions of this and how it came out into the medical feeling, what has happened to timothy >> the problem is, cure has been a four-letter word for a long time. there have been promises before that had not really panned out about 10 years before this. certain groups suggested maybe you could be treated for a short time with these potent anti-age of the medicines we have and get cured just because of that. that did not work. people were reticent to talk about a cure. we heard about this remarkable
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pace, which to me was prove he could cure aids, in february 2008, as a poster in an aids meeting in the united states and boston, i got together a group of a dozen scientists. we held a session at mit, from industry, academia, to help, and dr. gero hütter from germany to talk about this case, to go over all the information we had to find out how closely they looked at the virus to realize they have actual look for virus in mr. brown and biopsies of his brain, liver, his intestine, lymph node, bone marrow and there was no virus to be found. we organized blood samples shipped around the world to test. i asked for a vote at the end of the conference to see if everyone thought he was cured.
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many did believe it was a functional sure. could there be one of our is working in some cell we don't know about? in any event, it has been over five years with no drugs and no evidence of the disease by our most sensitive tests. it is incredible. there are a couple of other cases that a replicate this in boston. there was an individual very much like mr. brown who was transplant also using the ccr5 negative, this time a baby's cord blood in hollande. the person remains on anti-hiv therapies, so we do not know if he's really cared, but hopefully he will be able to go off their peace sen. you'll hear about other cases from europe as well. >> but can you talk about rejecting his research?
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>> the announcement was made in a poster in february 2008. i read an editorial about this in an aids magazine in april. nobody seems to believe it. i got two letters about it. we organized this conference in october 2008. submitted to the new england journal of medicine. it's rejected outright. they do not believe it. but when we run these conferences, we can invite one journalist and give them an exclusive. i invited a pulitzer prize- winning journalist for his reporting on aids in africa. he wrote an article about it, which they published on page 9 of "wall street journal" a few weeks later. shortly thereafter, the next week, "the new york times" published it on page 13. i don't think anyone really believed it. with all this publicity, the new
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england journal of medicine came back now decided to reconsider. it was published along with an editorial, a very skeptical editorial, saying basically until every single part of this person's body has been investigated, we are not certain we believe it. >> they eventually did publish the research? >> eventually, they did. in large part, i believe if you talk to dr. gero hütter and other individuals involved in similar research, they felt a lot of this was, and other pressure of the news, getting this information out that they reconsider this for the manuscript. >> dr. jeffrey laurence, let me read to the director of the national institutes of health psychology and infectious disease units sank in is just off the table a practicality. this is from new york magazine.
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he did not think was anything to get excited about saying it is very nice, not even surprising meaning if you take away someone's immune system and give him a new one resistant to hiv, is logical he would be cured of aids. while the article goes on to say what the pharmaceutical industry -- could you respond? >> he is right. the way it was done in mr. brown is off the realm of practicality. it is way too expensive. you will need another fatal disease in order to get one of these things. the risk from dying from a stem cell or bone marrow transplant is about 20% in the first 100 days after the transplant, and it is very expensive. finding the donors are not easy. this mutation that causes disruption of the door ccr5 that the aids means to get into a cell is selling about 1.5% of
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all caucasians in america, about 4% of all scandinavian and northern russians, but found and that african-americans and no black, not africans, no asians, and no american indians. so for large portions of the population, it is not even helpful. but i think the point that dr. has not commented on and needs to be addressed, a large part went on in the international aids conference, is that they gave us hope. there is proof. tod to, the insight into how d do it and make it practical. the one with amfar has been funding projects toward a cure is the possibility you could take cells from a person's body, rather than having mr. brown having a search for an unknown donors in the marrow registry, typing and for the ccr5 mutation, what if we could take a cell from the person's
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own body, genetically engineer it to lack the mutation and then put it back into the patient? experiments like that are being done in monkeys and animals. there's no reason we could not do a similar thing in humans. it would amplify the cells of the tested and put them back in the patients. perhaps, coming up with probably mutated hiv virus that would contain one of these little molecular scissors, as we call them, to cut out this mutation and glocks ccr5 and obviate the problem -- blocks ccr5 and audit the problem. it is one way of approaching the cure. >> i want to get one more comment from the same new york magazine article. while the pharmaceutical industry has sent hundreds of millions of dollars into
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developing aids treatments, most drug companies are sitting out care research, the article says, going onto a san francisco activist and board member saying a cure may make sense from a public policy point of view, but not to a company. dr. jeffrey laurence, your response? >> i totally disagree. we did a follow-up meeting in pennsylvania last summer looking at practical ways to approach a cure. one of these scientists i invited heads a program at no vargas, a pharmaceutical company with a lot of interest in hiv, and one thing they're looking at is what i talked about, ways of amplifying cells that have been genetically engineered from a person, growing up and being able to reject the stem cells into a person's body. i think we've got a lot of help from the pharmaceutical industry. the actual entry to the work we do at the foundation. you could say that about any
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disease. diabetes is a chronic disease and cancer is a chronic disease and pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in making drugs to make those diseases treatable. but that has not shown me, at least the case of aids and hiv, that they are reluctant to help us and cutting edge research, looking for a cure for aids. >> timothy ray brown, tell us about your foundation and what message you have to other people in the united states and around the world who are hiv-positive or have aids. >> i started my foundation on tuesday of this week. it is the timothy ray brown foundation. the sole purpose of it is to support efforts to look for a cure for hiv. that is what i want to do.
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i believe this is something that gives hope to a lot of people hiv and their families. and that is very important to me. >> and hearing about the other two men this week or just announced on thursday who seem to be having gone through what you went through, hiv/aids-free? >> it is very exciting. i am hoping it does turn out to be true and that they are cured of hiv. that is what my foundation -- these are the kinds of things what one might foundation is all about. >> thank you very much for being with us, timothy ray brown, the berlin patient, the first person believed to be cured of aids. and dr. jeffrey laurence, a leading aids researcher, senior scientist at the foundation for
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aids research known as amfar. when we come back, we will be joined by the first african religious leader to announce publicly his hiv-positive status. stay with us. o♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in washington, d.c., the 19th international aids conference is wrapping up. we're joined by canon gideon byamugisha, a prominent church leader and uganda. in 1992, he become the first african religious leader to openly declare his hiv-positive status. his since devoted his life to an aids ministry that works to end the stigma around aids. we welcome you to "democracy now!" talk about why you decided to come out in 1992 and what you have been doing for the last 20
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years. >> thank you very much, amy. i came out public about my status because i discovered there are a lot of things that are being talked about aids that are not accurate. when my wife died early in 1991 and they told me she had died of an aids illness, it was a shock. for us in uganda, they had told his age of the only attacks certain groups of people. they said it attacks commercial sex workers, drug users, -- truck drivers on long-distance routes, and homosexuals. so if you did not belong to those groups, then you were not at risk. so it came as a surprise to me when there were telling me my
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wife had died of an aids-related illness. i thought, there are things not being said about aids. the risk group is anyone who lacks an accurate information, who does that have opprobrious skills for certain protection or do not have services or sort [unintelligible] >> as you learned you yourself for h.i.v.-positive, talk about what you feel in uganda are your biggest concerns? right now, the news we have out of uganda, once again legislation has been introduced into the legislature that targets homosexuals, targets came in and lesbians, criminalizes their activity this
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is separate from hiv and aids, but for many, it also comes together. yes, aids has taught us what i have always known, although we're one globe, there are two worlds. there are two worlds living in close proximity. the world of the accepted, the world of the rich, the world of the educated, the world of the empowered. and so we are seen those persons, those families, those communities, those nations that happened to be accepted, have the education levels necessary for safe living, they have reduced their infection levels. they are treating their people. but when you find a group of
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committed the which is non the besht community which is not accessing this, you have an air raid of mortality around hiv/aids. this is happened in uganda for those who happen to be gay or transgender. they do not have supportive in avermenenvironment. if they're already positive, they cannot get access to services and the treatment they need in a way that can support them. and politicians in uganda know, religious leaders know, that they have the power, they have the moral authority to end the
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violence around lesbians, gay, transgender, bisexual community, but they're choosing not to use the political and moral power they have. as we say, we want to hold the people and governments accountable. i think the time all, and christians the all-i think the time will come when christians will look at why we allow people to perish from hiv and aids at the time when the world knew much and had much to control the virus. >> what about the role in the united states of certain evangelical groups that are pushing particularly in uganda for a crackdown on gay men and lesbians in the legislature?
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the u.s. connection? and in the backlash once the old legislation was beaten back, saying the u.s. and britain are putting pressure -- the west is putting pressure on uganda to try to change its african views and kind of colonization? how do you respond to that, reverend? >> first of all, i would want to differentiate between african views and colonial views. these laws in uganda are not african laws but these are colonial laws that were brought about by the british, and were left when they left and have not changed. before colonization, africa had a way of accommodating people who were the minority in the community. but when these rulers came,
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there were arrogant, discriminative, harsh. now it surprises me when i hear in the african same these are published saying these are laws. the issue have a responsibility to say, how would and africa christian morality handle this issue? how would jesus handle this issue? and as we know -- >> we're going to have to leave it there as the show wraps up thank you, reverend canon gideon byamugisha, the first religious leader and africa to publicly announce your hiv-positive status. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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